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US Intelligence Officials More Concerned with Russia than Iran

October 24th, 2020 12:51

US media is report­ing that many US intel­li­gence offi­cials are more con­cerned about Russ­ian efforts to inter­fere with the US elec­tions than they are with Iran­ian actions. Accord­ing to New York Times report, Rus­sia has recent­ly hacked  into state and local com­put­er networks:

Octo­ber 22, 2020 WASHINGTON — While senior Trump admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials said this week that Iran has been active­ly inter­fer­ing in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, many intel­li­gence offi­cials said they remained far more con­cerned about Rus­sia, which in recent days has hacked into state and local com­put­er net­works in breach­es that could allow Moscow broad­er access to Amer­i­can vot­ing infra­struc­ture. The dis­cov­ery of the hacks came as Amer­i­can intel­li­gence agen­cies, infil­trat­ing Russ­ian net­works them­selves, have pieced togeth­er details of what they believe are Russia’s plans to inter­fere in the pres­i­den­tial race in its final days or imme­di­ate­ly after the elec­tion on Nov. 3. Offi­cials did not make clear what Rus­sia planned to do, but they said its oper­a­tions would be intend­ed to help Pres­i­dent Trump, poten­tial­ly by exac­er­bat­ing dis­putes around the results, espe­cial­ly if the race is too close to call. F.B.I. and Home­land Secu­ri­ty offi­cials also announced on Thurs­day that Russia’s state hack­ers had tar­get­ed dozens of state and local gov­ern­ments and avi­a­tion net­works start­ing in Sep­tem­ber. They stole data from the com­put­er servers of at least two uniden­ti­fied tar­gets and con­tin­ued to crawl through some of the affect­ed net­works, the agen­cies said. Oth­er offi­cials said that the tar­gets includ­ed some vot­ing-relat­ed sys­tems, and that they may have been col­lat­er­al dam­age in the attacks. So far, there is no evi­dence that the Rus­sians have changed any vote tal­lies or vot­er reg­is­tra­tion infor­ma­tion, offi­cials said. They added that the Russ­ian-backed hack­ers had pen­e­trat­ed the com­put­er net­works with­out tak­ing fur­ther action, as they did in 2016.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed ear­li­er this week that nation­al secu­ri­ty offi­cials accused Iran of try­ing to inter­fere with the upcom­ing US elec­tions by send­ing vot­ers fake emails intend­ed to look like they had been sent by the Proud Boys, a far-right, pro-Trump group. We also report­ed this week that the US Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty released its Octo­ber 2020 “Home­land Threat Assess­ment” which, in con­trast to its report­ing on Chi­na and Iran, did iden­ti­fy Russ­ian efforts tar­get­ing the upcom­ing US elections.

The GIOR has been report­ing exten­sive­ly on Russ­ian influ­ence operations.